Thursday, 18 February 2016

Book Marks: Copyrights For Compilations, Etc

A piece on issues of joint authorship and copyright with regards to The Diary of Anne Frank. Owners of the book's copyright contend that Anne Frank's father Otto was a co-author (he wrote parts of the book) and, thus, the copyright should completely expire 50 years after Otto's death.

What caught my eye is this bit in the New Zealand Herald, which has ramifications for Malaysia as well: "Under the TPPA, we [in New Zealand] will have to extend the duration of copyright for literary works from 50 to 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies.

"...the book is likely to still be protected as a compilation whenever the legislative changes come in to force, but it will not have any impact on copyright that has already expired, like that in Anne's diaries."

Not sure how that works, but as a signatory to the TPPA ("unwilling", some would say), Malaysians in the book and publishing industry might want to pay close attention to developments in the trade pact.


  • Yang Jisheng, author of Tombstone, a book on China's Great Famine, has been barred from going to the US to accept award.
  • Ramin Ganeshram, author of A Birthday Cake for George Washington, spoke up about the controversy surrounding the book. Many of the comments are disheartening; the critics don't seem to want to let go.
  • Dream of the Red Chamber, China's greatest novel? Michael Wood, at The Guardian, thinks it's time Cao Xueqin's [紅樓夢] gets the attention it deserves.
  • Google opens Editions at Play, an online store for "books that can't be printed". Sounds like Google is also trying to catalyse the creation of digital books, those that work - and make sense - only in cyberspace.
  • "I don't think you're doing the artist or the audience or the art form itself any favor if you pat things on the head." In Salon, New York Times writer A.O. Scott speaks about "monsters of ego", criticism and "how Twitter makes his job more lively". Of course, Scott has a new book out, Better Living Through Criticism.
  • Fifteen words invented by authors, according to the blog by the Oxford Online Dictionary. Some of these are surprising.
  • Is the Malaysian Home Ministry and government going to appeal the lifting of ban on Irshad Manji’s book, Allah Liberty and Love? OH FOR GOODNESS'S SAKE TAK HABIS-HABIS CERITA NI SHOULD THIS EVEN BE PURSUED NOW?
  • "Hindu nationalists are now demonstrating that there are many ways to assassinate a writer." Pankaj Mishra on the forces involved in Arundhati Roy's trial for "contempt of court", which he (or whoever wrote the standfirst) calls "a crime against art and thought".
  • In The New Yorker, the story of New Directions, publisher of such titles as Eka Kurniawan's Beauty Is A Wound: "New Directions evolved as it did because its founder was as far-seeing in business as he was in matters of taste," writes Maria Bustillos. "[James] Laughlin wasn't looking to corner a market or to disrupt anything; his ambition was to create an institution that would last."
  • Publisher's Weekly is covering the Havana Book Fair 2016 and the US publishing mission to Cuba, which PW co-organised with the American promotion and book marketing company, Combined Book Exhibit. Insights include a glimpse of the Cuban publishing industry.
  • So, the presses for the UK's Independent and Independent on Sunday newspapers are stopping in March as the paper goes fully digital. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch's tweet about it was met with derision. But things aren't rosy at Murdoch's News Corp either.


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